William F. Griffin, Jr.

 
 

Practice Focus and Experience


Bill Griffin practices in the Business Law and Real Estate and Environmental areas. He primarily represents privately owned and publicly held businesses in a variety of business and real estate transactions. He has also acted as bond counsel in many tax-exempt bond financings.

Versatility has been the watchword of Bill's professional career. He has extensive experience with sophisticated business and financial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions; public offerings and private placements of equity and debt securities; venture capital financing; tax-exempt bonds; tax shelter syndications; equipment lease transactions; state and municipal finance; foreign investment in U.S. real estate; and bank and utility regulation. He also has broad experience in real estate transactions, including condominiums, subdivisions, mortgages and mortgage foreclosures, commercial leasing, construction, and permanent financing, as well as zoning practice, litigation, work-outs, and asset recoveries.

Although primarily a business and real estate lawyer, Bill has briefed and argued numerous appellate cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Maine Supreme Court. He is the author of numerous articles on tax-exempt bonds, bank holding companies, commodity pools, government-assisted financing, corporate organization, fiduciary duties, and negotiation and tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions. Bill has also conducted or been a panelist at continuing legal education seminars on economic development, corporate practice, mergers and acquisitions, fiduciary duties of officers, directors and business owners and the Massachusetts Business Corporation Act.

Representative Matters


  • Acted as bond and agency counsel for $16.5 million financing of construction of new charter school facility, including $11 million in tax-exempt bonds and $5.5 million in subordinated USDA loans.
  • Represented a client in the purchase of a $20 million parcel of developable land in an upscale residential equestrian community in Florida.
  • Represented an abutter challenging the validity of zoning variances for a new apartment building in a transit-oriented development and negotiated a favorable settlement of dispute.
  • Represented and served as tax advisor for foreign investors acquiring high-end residential real estate in Boston, Brookline and Newton.
  • Represented foreign investors establishing a family investment company owned and managed by young adult siblings.
  • Authored a 1,200 page treatise, A Practical Guide to Massachusetts Closely Held Business Organizations, published by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.
  • Authored a brochure entitled Tax Guide for Foreign Investors in the U.S. Residential Real Estate (English and Chinese translation).
  • Co-authored, with Amy L. Fracassini, a brochure entitled A Basic Guide for Foreign Purchasers of Massachusetts Residential Property (English and Chinese translation).
  • Served as bond or agency counsel for over 120 Massachusetts Development Finance Agency tax-exempt bond issues totaling approximately $600 million from 2009 to 2016. List of Representative Bond Counsel Experience
  • Acted as bond and borrower's counsel for a $3.875 million tax-exempt bond issue to finance a complex sale and leaseback transaction between a local YMCA and a local housing authority.
  • Acted as bond and borrower's counsel for a $4 million tax-exempt bond issue to refinance (with five series of bonds) four child care centers and an administrative office for a local human services provider.
  • Represented an investor in the negotiation of a $6 million equity investment in an international manufacturer of satellite communication equipment.
  • Represented a long-time client in a successful bid in a Chapter 30B procurement process to purchase and develop a contaminated parcel of land from a North Shore municipality.
  • Represented a client in the environment remediation and sale of an urban parcel of land in Boston, its application for a Brownfields tax credit, and sale of said credits.
  • Represented several foreign investors in structuring purchases and gifts of Massachusetts real estate.
  • Drafted, with Harold R. Davis, enabling legislation authorizing the issuance of tax-exempt special assessment bonds to finance local municipal infrastructure, which was enacted in 2012 as Chapter 23L of the Massachusetts General Laws.
  • Represented members of a Massachusetts limited liability company in litigation claiming "freeze-out" and breach of fiduciary duties by the manager.
  • Successfully represented a minority member in a Massachusetts limited liability company in a suit for emergency injunctive relief against expulsion by majority members.
  • Successfully represented a professional sports franchise owner in a Federal income tax appeal involving $148 million in adjustments to income.
  • Successfully represented a long-time client in defending a nationwide consumer class action.
  • Served as bond counsel for a $42 million private placement of tax-exempt revenue bonds for a regional YMCA.
  • Represented two partners in a Boston law firm relating to restructuring of the firm's partnership agreement.
  • Represented the taxpayer in a $1 million deeds excise tax case before the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board, now settled.
  • Represented a regional banking corporation in providing credit enhancement for three tax-exempt bond issues totalling approximately $80 million.
  • Represented a local college requiring a bond counsel opinion in a private business use issue relating to the use of college property by a for-profit educational institution.
  • Represented the minority shareholders of a business trust which owned a small hotel in litigation contesting the extension of the life of the trust and negotiated a three-way settlement agreement with majority shareholders and purchaser of real estate.
  • Represented a non-profit community organization in a $7 million financing of the conversion of a former parochial school into a neighborhood community center, involving taxable and tax-exempt bonds, second mortgage, historic tax credits, state community service loan, and CDBG grant.
  • Represented the minority shareholders of a public company seeking representation on board of directors; settled potential proxy contest by negotiating the nomination and election of two of our clients as new directors.
  • Obtained a $7 million award for a large Boston landowner in arbitration proceedings involving eminent domain takings and contract disputes with a public transportation authority.
  • Represented three Eastern Massachusetts municipalities in a $3 million loan under the HUD Section 108 Loan Guaranty Program to enable the redevelopment of a 30-acre riverfront brownfields site into a mixed-use residential and office development with ten acres of open space, parkland, and recreational facilities.
  • Represented a Massachusetts municipality and its redevelopment authority in a $3 million loan under the HUD Section 108 Loan Guaranty Program to finance the acquisition of a new senior center and the establishment of a revolving fund for upgrading substandard housing.
  • Represented a local subsidiary of an Italian paper box manufacturer in the establishment of a United States manufacturing base by acquisition of assets of a manufacturing company and purchase, construction, and equipping of a 220,000 square foot manufacturing facility on a 35-acre parcel of land in southern New Hampshire.
  • Served as underwriter's counsel for a $150 million tax-exempt bond issue for a large urban development project.
  • Represented the seller in a $200 million Boston real estate transaction.
  • Represented a regional bank in a $62 million financing of a Pennsylvania energy company.
  • Represented the issuers in two initial public offerings of $83 million and $69 million, respectively.
  • Represented the selling shareholders of a high-tech manufacturing firm in an arbitration case involving financial projections in a corporate merger and successfully negotiated a settlement of the dispute.
  • Served as an expert witness in a legal malpractice case involving a golf course development on Martha's Vineyard.
  • Represented a local bank lender with respect to $5 million term, bridge loan and working capital financings for the purchase of four nursing homes.
  • Represented a regional bank lender with respect to $12.5 million in working capital and term loan financings for a medical imaging company, a $12 million secured line of credit for a real estate investor, $5.2 million in line of credit and construction mortgage financings for a defense subcontractor, and a $3 million line of credit for a collection services company.
  • Represented a long-standing client with respect to the financing of the purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers and related real estate.
  • Represented the successful bidder for a municipal golf course management contract in a contested bid dispute in Middlesex Superior Court.
  • Represented a potential purchaser of the Boston Red Sox and New England Sports Network, including planning for the development of a new ballpark.
  • Represented a state economic development agency and a western Massachusetts municipality in a $12 million financing for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, including a $3.8 million loan under the HUD Section 108 Loan Guaranty Program.
  • Represented a venture capital investor in an early-stage investment in a local bio-pharmaceutical company.
  • Represented a real estate developer in a $28 million term loan from a major insurance company.
  • Represented Micro Robotics Systems, Inc. in its $65 million acquisition by Newport Corporation for publicly held securities and cash.
  • Represented a client in the acquisition of a 9.9% equity interest in a publicly traded retail chain, including regulatory compliance, proxy solicitation and poison pill issues.
  • Represented the owners of 50% of a large privately held convenience store and retail gasoline business in proceedings before the Delaware Chancery Court involving proposals for the tax-free division or sale of assets of the company.
  • Represented a principal stockholder of a privately held chain of garden centers in the tax-free reorganization and spin-off of its Martha's Vineyard subsidiary.
  • Represented a national health food distributor in a $7.5 million refinancing of bank debt and a $9.2 million recapitalization of subordinated debt for preferred stock.
  • Represented a distributor of household products in a refinancing of a $17.5 million senior line of credit, a $5 million senior term loan and a $7 million recapitalization of senior subordinated debt and junior subordinated debt.
  • Represented a distributor of plumbing, heating and industrial supplies in a reverse like-kind exchange of real estate for a branch location.
  • Represented a regional bank lender in a $2.8 million line of credit and letter of credit financing for a Boston law firm.
  • Represented the owners of a seafood distribution center in the remarketing of $4.4 million of tax-free revenue bonds.

Professional


  • Distinctions: Peer Review AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest bestowed rating; Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2004-2005, 2013-2016.
  • Admitted: Massachusetts; United States Supreme Court; United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts; United States Tax Court.
  • Life Fellow: Massachusetts Bar Foundation.
  • Listed as a municipal bond attorney in The Bond Buyer's Municipal Marketplace (the "Red Book").
  • Member: Boston Bar Association; Massachusetts Bar Association; Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Business and Commercial Law Curriculum Advisory Committee; National Association of Bond Lawyers; Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts; Government Affairs Committee, National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (2016-present); Public Policy and Government Relations Leadership Council, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

Community Involvement


  • Trustee, Boston Latin School Association (2016-present).
  • Member, Ward Fellowship Committee (2013-present).
  • Member, Boston Latin School Distinguished Graduate Award Committee (2015-present).
  • Director of the Melrose YMCA (1983 - 2010).
  • Vice President and General Counsel of Bellevue Golf Club (1980 - 2008).
  • Special Counsel to the City of Melrose and member of the Melrose Water and Sewer Advisory Committee (1992 - 1993).
  • Chairman of the Melrose Youth Commission (1973-1975).

Publications and Speaking Engagements


News